Archive for the ‘ ~3 to 5 Miles~ ’ Category

Veterans Cemetery – Exeter

  • Rhode Island Veterans Memorial Cemetery/Woodland Trail
  • South County Trail, Exeter, RI
  • Trailhead: 41°32’42.45″N, 71°32’15.73″W
  • Last Time Hiked: November 11, 2015
  • Approximate distance hiked: 3.1 miles
  • Easy.

(Veterans Day 2015) – To recognize the end of the major hostilities at the eleventh hour of November 11th, 1918 that ended World War I, Armistice Day became a national holiday to remember the veterans of that Great War. After World War II, the holiday evolved to become Veterans Days to honor the veterans of all American wars. My grandfather was only aged one when the Great War ended and decades later would serve in the Second World War liberating concentration camps in Nazi Germany. Nearly fifteen years after his passing, his name is forever embodied with other Rhode Islanders whom had served in the military of the United States, at the Combat Infantryman Badge Memorial. There is also a trail that the University of Rhode Island Master Gardeners Club has built over the course of several years around the perimeter of the cemetery. The trail is never very far from any of the cemetery roads and comes out to several of the memorial monuments along the edge of the cemetery. For this walk, I followed the entire Woodland Trail using the map provided (see below) and then did some wandering around the cemetery visiting most of the monuments. Being Veterans Day, there were services at some of the various monuments and many folks were visiting with loved ones lost.

Trail map can be found at: Rhode Island Veterans Memorial Cemetery.

Additional photos can be viewed at the Trails and Walks Facebook page.

Monument at Rhode Island Veterans Cemetery

Monument at Rhode Island Veterans Cemetery

Arcadia Central – Exeter

  • Arcadia Central – Arcadia Wildlife Management Area
  • Ten Rod Road, Exeter, RI
  • Trailhead: 41°34’36.49″N, 71°42’13.13″W
  • Last Time Hiked: October 12, 2015
  • Approximate distance hiked: 4.8 miles
  • Moderate with some elevation.

This hike in the central part of the Arcadia Management Area covers portions of some of the most popular trails on the property as well as some of the least traveled. It also features several points of interests if you looking for ponds, rivers, and brooks. Many portions of this hike are on trails that are not blazed and it would be suggestible to obtain a copy of the Great Swamp Press map of the property before embarking on this hike. We started this hike from the small parking area at Appie Crossing where the Arcadia and Mount Tom trails begin. From the parking area we crossed the very busy Route 165 and walked easterly about 300 feet to the entrance of the John B. Hudson Trail. This trail, yellow blazed, starts to climb uphill for a bit as it passes under a canopy of the thick forest. About three tenths of a mile from the John B. Hudson trail head is a spur trail on the left. We turned here briefly to explore the remains of a fire tower that once stood here and then continued along the yellow blazed trail. The trail starts to pass through areas of mountain laurel , a stone wall, to the next highlight of this trail on the right. It is a historical cemetery, the final resting place of the Wilcox family. Just beyond the cemetery we then crossed the Tripp Trail continuing to follow the yellow blazes. A couple of hundred feet ahead is a trail intersection with a wooden fence that serves as a gate. The trail to the right is the continuation of the yellow blazed, east branch of the John B. Hudson Trail. The trail ahead is the white blazed, west branch of the John B. Hudson Trail. We turned onto the trail to the left, the beginning of the Shelter Trail, also blazed white. This trail led us downhill through some more areas of mountain laurel. Soon we were hearing the trickle of the Breakheart Brook to the right. The trail then came to Frosty Hollow Pond, a well known fishing hole in the management area. At the time of this hike the pond was nearly empty of water as this area has been experiencing drought conditions. Next we started following the dirt road, Frosty Hollow Road, south for about two tenths of a mile until we reached the Deion Trail on the right where we turned. This trail is not blazed and used mostly by horse back riders. We followed this trail to its end and then turned right onto a dirt road, the Midway Trail. You will notice blue blazes along the Midway Trail as it is part of the North South Trail. It is also a road that is used by vehicles. The road soon crosses the Flat River and then comes to an observation deck on the left at the Falls River. After the deck we turned left over the river and approached a gate. The dirt road, with the blue blazes, turns to the right. We continued straight passing the gate. Almost immediately after the gate the old roadway splits. You have an option as to which way to go as these two roads run parallel for a few hundred feet and then rejoin. This stretch of roadway is actually part of Old Ten Rod Road. After the roads rejoin, we then turned left onto another dirt road that led us southerly. This road passes a small area that resembles a desert. Continue straight through this area avoiding turns to other roads or side trails. If you went straight you should have come out to Route 165 opposite Mount Tom Road. We then crossed the highway, onto Mount Tom Road very briefly, and turned left onto a road that led us to the Arcadia Hunter Check Station. Here we took the opportunity to take a break before tackling the last leg of the hike. The remainder of the hike becomes much easier navigation wise as it follows the eastern most portion of the Mount Tom Trail to its end. The terrain, however, can be a bit moderate as the trail climbs a couple hills. After a short break we then crossed a newly built bridge that crosses the Wood River. Across the parking area is a white blaze on a tree. The trail enters an area of tall pines, crosses a small stream, and then rapidly climbs uphill before coming to Summit Road. Continuing straight across the road, the Mount Tom Trail climbs up hill again and comes to the seven trail intersection. The Dove Crest Trail is immediately to the right and is not blazed. The blue blazed Bald Hill/North South Trail crosses the intersection. An unnamed trail is ahead to the right. The remainder of the white blazed Mount Tom Trail, which we would follow, is ahead. The trail then passes through an area strewn with boulders and ferns before coming to the trail intersection. At this intersection the Arcadia Trail is to the right, we turned left, and followed the remainder of the white blazed trail. After crossing a small brook, the trail climbs slightly uphill, flanked by stone walls, back to the parking area at Appie Crossing. This entire hike is on property where hunting is allowed. Be sure to wear blaze orange during hunting season.

Along Frosty Hollow Road

Along Frosty Hollow Road

Falls River – Exeter/West Greenwich

  • Falls River
  • Midway Trail, Exeter, RI
  • Trailhead: 41°34’45.82″N, 71°43’8.57″W
  • Last Time Hiked: September 17, 2015
  • Approximate distance hiked: 5.0 miles
  • Moderate with some slight elevation.

This hike in the Arcadia Management Area loops around the lower end of the Falls River. About half the hike follows gravel roads and the other portions follows some of the most scenic stretches of trails in Rhode Island. I started this hike from a small parking area just after the Flat River bridge along the Midway Trail and followed the road northwesterly for a short distance before coming to an intersection. Here I stayed right following the Midway Trail. The road to the left with the bridge I would return on. After a couple hundred feet I came to the Brook Trail on the left. Turning here I followed the gravel road, stopping occasionally to venture onto the footpaths to the left that lead to the river. The trails to the right lead into a maze of unmarked trails. It is not advisable to explore those trails without a reliable map and/or GPS. At the Lawson Cary Fishing Area the gravel road bears to the right and climbs uphill a bit, then descends downhill, passing a couple gated trailheads to the right, before coming to an intersection of gravel roads. I turned left at the intersection following the trail that curves to the right and then to the left. Next, a trail with two boulders preventing automobile access appears on the right. This is the Over Hill Trail. Following this narrower trail, I soon found evidence that the trail is heavily used for horseback riding. This stretch I found to be particularly nice with a combination of pine and beech trees. The beech trees are just starting to turn to a vibrant yellow and some of the leaves are starting to fall. I continued to follow this trail up and down some small hills as it crossed into West Greenwich. Soon a trail merges from the right and the trail is suddenly blazed yellow. Within a couple feet the yellow blazed trail turns left onto a narrower trail. I turned here onto the western most part of the Breakheart Trail. Stop along this trail and listen. You will hear nothing but what nature has to offer. The trail winds up and down small hills, passes over a boardwalk, comes to the bank of the Falls River, and finally ends at Austin Farm Road. I then turned left at the road, entering Exeter once again, and crossed a bridge over the Falls River. Here to the right is the trail head of the Ben Utter Trail that will lead you to Stepstone Falls if you so choose. I continued straight along the road and turned left onto the blue blazed Sand Hill Trail which is also part of the North South Trail. This stretch of the hike is another tremendously beautiful section as the trail meanders through a towering pine grove. Soon the white blazed Escoheag Trail appears on the right, I continued straight until I reached a trail split. Here the North South Trail stays to the left, and a sign that says “Spur Trail” is to the right. I choose to explore the spur trail that winded uphill to a small ridge before descending back downhill. Turning right, the trail then rejoins the blue blazed North South/Sand Hill Trail and continues south. The Sand Hill Trail then continues over a section of boardwalk and slightly uphill before coming out to Barber Road. Continuing to follow the blue blazes of the North South Trail, I turned left onto Barber Road, another gravel road, and followed it nearly a mile. Along the way on the left is another spot to view the river. After passing an open gate, the road bends to the left and crosses a bridge that spans the Falls River once again. Just after the bridge, I turned right and retraced my steps back to the car, first stopping at the deck that overlooks the river.

Trail map can be found at: Falls River.

Along The Over Hill Trail.

Along The Over Hill Trail.

Meadowbrook Trail – Richmond

The Meadowbrook Trail runs just to the west of Meadow Brook in Richmond. It starts at the end of Meadowbrook Road and continues into the Carolina Management Area. For this hike I decided to follow about two thirds of the trail and add a short loop at the southern end of the hike. Most of this hike follows the blue blazes of the North South Trail as well. Starting at the cul-de-sac at Meadowbrook Road I started following the blue blazed trail as it first followed a driveway. To the left are stables with a few horses and to the right is hole 5 of a golf course. Both are private property. The blazes soon lead to a trail ahead. The trail is about a half mile long, meanders through tall trees, and heads southerly towards Kenyon Hill Trail. Next I crossed the paved road and continued straight along a dirt road. Along this stretch are some open fields and a few homes. Here I met one of the residents of the stable I passed earlier, a beautiful 13 year old horse out for a summer stroll. Continuing to follow the blue blazes I soon passed an old grader and then was into the northern section of the Carolina Management Area. At the next intersection I turned right onto the unblazed Gardner Trail. This area offer some glimpses of ledges and stone walls. At the next intersection I turned left onto the Jerue Trail, also unblazed. The trail slowly winds downhill and ends at the blue blazed Meadowbrook Trail. Here I would turn left and follow the blue blazes of the North South back to the cul-de-sac. (If you want to take a peek at Meadow Brook, turn right here, then left a few feet ahead. Follow that short trail to the brook). You could easily add more distance to this hike by exploring the trails of Carolina both north and south of Pine Hill Road. Along this hike I came across, frogs, toads, and several birds including hawks. Keep in mind that the management area is open to hunting.

Trail map can be found at: Meadowbrook Trail.

Horseback Riding On A Summer Day.

Horseback Riding On A Summer Day.

Nicholas Farm – Coventry/Sterling

  • Nicholas Farm – Nicholas Farm State Management Area
  • Nicholas Road, Coventry, RI
  • Trailhead: 41°40’50.23″N, 71°46’26.04″W
  • Last Time Hiked: August 10, 2015
  • Approximate distance hiked: 3.2 miles
  • Fairly easy with some significant elevation.

This 3 mile out and back hike offered two very distinctive landscapes. Starting from the parking area for Nicholas Farm and passing the red gate, you are immediately walking down a grass covered road that weaves northerly through areas of woods and large open fields. The fields are a haven for insects of all sorts. Grasshoppers, crickets, butterflies, bees, and cicadas were all abundant here. There were also some rather impressive ant mounds along the edge of the road. As the road ends, a narrower wooded trail appears on the right. This trail at first heads northerly toward the Moosup River and then turns to the west as it follows the river up on a ridge. It travels mostly through areas of pines and for the most part, with the exception of one large hill, is rather level. It is unblazed, but for the most part very discernible. At the end of the trail you have reached Connecticut. There is an area to the right to view the river. There is a gravel road that comes from the left and also a gravel trail ahead of you. These trails are part of the Pachuag State Forest, are unmarked, and can add miles of walking to your hike. If you choose to, be sure to have a trail map and/or GPS readily available, as the trail network can be a bit confusing. For this hike, I suggest that you retrace your steps back to the start of the hike.

Trail map can be found at: Nicholas Farm.

A Field At Nicholas Farm.

A Field At Nicholas Farm.

Coney Brook Trail – West Greenwich

  • Coney Brook Trail/McAlpine-Shepard Preserve – Tillinghast Pond Management Area
  • Hazard Road, West Greenwich, RI
  • Trailhead: 41°38’54.24″N, 71°46’45.50″W
  • Last Time Hiked: August 10, 2015
  • Approximate distance hiked: 4.1 miles
  • Moderate.

I started this hike from Hazard Road entering the management area along the double orange blazed Shepard Trail, one of the newest established trails in Rhode Island. The Shepard Trail crosses over the McAlpine-Shepard Preserve section of the vast Tillinghast Pond Management Area. Tillinghast, with Wickaboxet, offers nearly 10 miles of trails. This hike would be one of three loops that I would cover in the management area. The Shepard Trail itself is a little less than a mile and travels through thick fern covered forest. There are a couple boardwalks to cross as well as a bridge that crosses Coney Brook. There are also a few stone walls along the trail. At the end of the trail is the single orange blazed Coney Brook Trail. Here I opted to go left and follow the trail clockwise as it first led me up along Hemlock Ridge. After passing through an area with quite a variety of mushrooms the trail abruptly turns left, down a set of stairs, to the Coney Cascades. This water feature creates a small gorge along the trail that the brook trickles through. At the top of the hill is a small pond and dam. Soon I came to the next intersection. The orange blazed trail continue to the left as it follows the edge of a large open field, but first I followed the green blazed Loggers Trail for about an 1/8 of a mile to take in the views. At the top of the hill you can see several miles to the south and the large shrub covered field is very picturesque. After a short time lingering I returned to the orange trail and continued to follow it along the edge of the field until it came out to Plain Road. Here are where you will get your first glimpse of Tillinghast Pond. Turning right I followed Plain Road a couple hundred feet looking for the orange (and white) trail blazes that turn to the left. The trail then heads into the woods toward the pond. A trail appears to the right (only blazed white at the intersection), you want to turn right here, but first continue straight to the end of the peninsula for a sweeping view of the pond. Continuing along the orange and white blazed trail you can catch glimpses of the pond to the left. Soon the orange trail turns right, crosses Plain Road once again, and enters an area with active logging. The logging is being done to maintain the wildlife habitats on the property. When going through this area ignore the logging roads and keep straight as the trail will appear ahead. The aptly named green blazed Loggers Trail appears on the right once again, but continue straight. Soon you will re-enter the woods once again and pass an area of several stone walls. This is the Parker Homestead. Continuing along the orange blazed trail I would soon come to the spur trail I came in on. From here I retraced my steps back to the trailhead.

Trail map can be found at: Coney Brook Trail.

Coney Brook Trail

Coney Brook Trail

Tom Wood Road – Foster

  • Tom Wood Road
  • Shippee Schoolhouse Road, Foster, RI
  • Trailhead: 41°49’11.77″N, 71°47’20.01″W
  • Last Time Hiked: August 5, 2015
  • Approximate distance hiked: 3.1 miles
  • Easy with slight elevation.

This wide, one and a half mile, cart path is also part of the blue blazed North South Trail that runs from Shippee Schoolhouse Road to the back of Shady Acres Restaurant on Route 6. Starting along the road I first passed a small field on the right before coming to a pond with lily pads and wild flowers on the left. Opposite the pond is the ruins of an old mill site. Soon the cart path turns to the left while the North South Trail follows a narrower trail straight ahead. I stayed to the left following the cart path. At this point I was on Sainio Property owned by the Foster Land Trust. The trail splits again and I stayed to the right as the cart path runs parallel to the North South Trail. Here there is a rather impressive stone wall, the Summer Sweet was exceptionally fragrant, and there were several birds and butterflies. The trail is a little root bound and rocky in some areas as it slowly climbed uphill just a bit. Soon the North South Trail rejoins the cart path and the remainder of the walk follows the blue blazes. There are several trails that bear off. The ones to the right all are onto private property. Most of it is posted with no trespassing signs. With the exception of a small section about midway and another section towards the end, the properties to the left are the Sainio and Schneider Properties owned by the Foster Land Trust. There are no blazed trails on those properties and most of the discernible trails lead off to private property. After reaching the end of the trail at Shady Acres I turned around and retraced my steps making for a hike just over 3 miles.

I did not find a trail map for the walk.



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